BYLARA is 40…

Blackpool April 26th – 28th

by Sharon 2E0SHZ

FOR the last year, the Committee have been talking about the 40th Anniversary and what in particular we could/should do. After much toing and froing, from everyone, we finally decided that as BYLARA was formed April 29th 1979, we should do something as close to this date as possible. Knowing that the Blackpool Rally was at the Norbreck Hotel on Sunday April 28th we felt this was an ideal opportunity. Perfect, now what to do…

My OM, Paul M1AIB, and I have enjoyed visiting the rally and a couple of years ago we found a lovely little Hotel, The Briardene, which was about 10 minutes tram ride away from the Norbreck.

We contacted The Briardene and were able to block book the hotel for a short period of time, after which rooms that weren’t booked were offered to WAB members then given back to the hotel. (Our President wears hats in both camps!!) Most of us arrived at the hotel at various times during the Friday, me and OM included. After check-in, we met up in the lounge and had coffee and generally chatted the afternoon away. It was decided that we would dine in the restaurant that evening, a lovely meal was enjoyed, followed by more drinks in the lounge and the last few arrivals came in.

Saturday dawned fair but very windy. After a mammoth breakfast we all took ourselves out, groups going separate ways and arranging to meet that afternoon for coffee. Paul and I with Judith, G4IAQ, and her OM, Dave, G4IAR, caught the tram and went to Fleetwood and found their indoor market. After a wander and the obligatory coffee, we again got on the tram and went off to Blackpool seafront. There the wind was particularly strong, coming off the sea. We found what we had come for though — you can’t visit the seaside without having an Ice cream. Yes, we were cold, yes it was windy, but we were at the seaside!!!!! We finished back at the hotel for chat and coffee, before going out for dinner with members of WAB for their Annual Moby Dick at Bispham Kitchen, (other meals are offered). As we travelled back to the hotel the rain that had been promised all day came, the heavens opened and we got back to the hotel wet, but happy.

Sunday morning dawned sunny and not so windy. After another lovely breakfast, we all set off for the Norbreck. We helped set up both the WAB and the BYLARA stand, Val, G6MML, had been out and bought balloons and decorations for the stand. Helen, M0TMD, and Elaine, 2E1BVS, arrived and helped too.

Over in a corner a room was set aside to BYLARA and our radio station was set up and our special callsign, GB40BYL went out on the air for the first time. Conditions weren’t great however, and only a handful of contacts were made. The stand had a steady flow of visitors who were all invited to join us at lunchtime for the festivities. It was decided that BYLARA would pay for a Hot/Cold buffet for everyone to enjoy. It was good to see so many YLs together. After everyone had eaten, Judith asked Maureen, G8GKR, to cut our cake, as apart from Judith, she was the longest serving member there, a fabulous 39 years.

After the party broke up, we tidied and packed away our stands and made our way back to the Hotel, tired but happy. Friends were made that weekend, friends were reacquainted too, but one thing holds us together, radio and BYLARA, here’s to the next 40 years.

Sharon, 2E0SHZ